Open Accessibility Menu

Red Light Collisions in Illinois

Casey Woodruff

stoplightDrivers on the road should exercise care at all times, but statistically speaking, intersections are some of the most dangerous places for motorists throughout the country. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency reports that 40 percent of all collisions occur at intersections, often at traffic lights. These type of intersection collisions have also come under more scrutiny by the Illinois media recently as a result of the proliferation of red light cameras. A recent study by the Chicago Tribune reported that red light cameras increase the number of accidents, and shift the types of collisions that occur at red lights.

Types of Red Light Collisions

Red light collisions can occur in one of two ways. First, a car that has a red light can end up driving into an intersection, either running the red light or in an attempt to make a right-hand turn. Then, that car could end up cutting off the traffic with the green light, resulting in a side-on collision. Second, the driver could be coming up to a light that is about to turn red. Either as a result of excessive speed or a lack of attention, the driver could end up stopping short or decelerating rapidly in an attempt to stop for the red light. This can result in rear-end collisions if the driver behind them is not paying attention.

Red light camera intersections have been a recent place where these two types of crashes have been compared. This is because the installation of the cameras has shifted the types of accidents that occur. Fewer people are running red lights, but more of them are stopping short. This change means a decrease in side-impact collisions, but an increase in rear-end collisions. While both types of accidents have the potential to be serious, on average side-impact collisions tend to cause more damage overall.

Liability for Red Light Collisions

Liability for red light collisions is similar to liability for ordinary traffic accidents. The court is looking for which driver negligently caused the accident. However, that can often be easier to figure out in red light collisions as a result of a legal doctrine called per se negligence. Ordinarily, the court attempts to determine negligence using the concept of a “duty of care.” The duty of care means that drivers must take reasonable precautions not to injure each other on the roads, and if they fail to do so, then they may be liable for the accidents that they cause. This can sometimes be a difficult standard to apply in practice because it hinges on determining which precautions were reasonable to take.

The doctrine of per se negligence solves the problem of defining reasonableness. Something is negligent per se when it was a violation of a traffic law designed for safety. In essence, the court assumes that traffic laws are the government’s decision on what precautions are definitely reasonable to take, such as stopping at a red light. Those bright line rules can make determining fault in these cases much easier.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a red light collision, contact an Elgin personal injury attorney today. The attorneys at Woodruff Johnson & Evans are here to help you get the full, fair compensation that you deserve.

Categories:
  • "I had an awesome experience with Dexter Evans!"

    "I was recently injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He is the best. Awesome experience. Definitely would recommend to anyone!"

  • "They always keep in touch & are quick to respond."

    "I want to thank attorney Jon Walker for all his work on my worker's comp case. He explains everything in detail to you so you understand. Always kept in touch, you didn't have ..."

  • "I will definitely recommend them!"

    "I was injured in an auto accident and Dexter Evans handled my case. He was awesome. I will definitely recommend them to friends and family."

  • "I was very happy with the outcome of my case!"

    "A friend referred me to Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Attorney Jay Johnson explained the process so that I understood what was going on with my case. He was responsive to my ..."

  • "I was very satisfied with the results!"

    "I was referred to Woodruff Johnson & Evans by a friend who had used them in the past. Everyone I had contact with was so kind and polite. My lawyer, Jay Johnson, explained the ..."

  • "Woodruff Johnson & Evans helped settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill!"

    "I consulted the lawyers from Woodruff Johnson & Evans and they settled my case when the insurance company refused to pay my medical bill! I think I will recommend people to ..."

  • "Dexter Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case & provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had!"

    "Dexter (DJ) Evans was incredible at handling my auto-accident case and provided constant communication about any questions or concerns I had. He addressed every concern I had ..."

  • "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall!"

    "Steven was helpful in preparing me for a deposition and was very instrumental in gathering details about the location of my slip and fall. He negotiated what I thought was a ..."

View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • Please enter your First Name.
  • Please enter your Last Name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.